It started 21 years ago when I was Orca the Whale.  I was already on “bed arrest” for a high risk pregnancy but then had to be admitted to a teaching hospital with a neonatal unit.  This aged facility was where my Cornish hen-sized babies would enter the world too early at 30 weeks. I recall there being lots of preterm, laboring moms that night and no room for admittance. So I got to lie on a gurney for a bed with a curtain as a partition. I recall garish, exposed, fluorescent bulbs, and the view of a mega dust bunny gliding back and forth over my head. To keep the babies baking longer, I was given a med that caused vomiting. Not just a little either.  So, in my 1/2 star accommodations, I thought to myself, “This can’t be happening.”  But it did. And it kept happening for 6 more weeks….

The next time it happened I was outnumbered and carting all my brood to a public library. It was one of the very few places I could go with 4 preschoolers without doing a perpetual head count.  Since we were potty training, I was relieved there was a potty right there too. We go in the library and one of my guys is so engrossed in his trains that he goes #2 right there by the train table, completely unnoticed. (As you know, children run around and around and back and forth A LOT when playing at a train table.)  To add insult to injury, my sons also had on deep-trekked shoes and were innocently “painting” the carpet with the “accident.”  I got a sudden whiff and the panic set in.  My 911 button was pushed and I went into damage control.  Mortified, I take the culprit to get cleaned up.  Then, the perturbed librarian comes at me with carpet cleaner. I thought to myself, “This can’t be happening!” But as sure as stink it did! I got to clean carpet, clean children, clean shoes and accept the fact we couldn’t go there ever, ever again.

Looking back, those minor horrors were “Boot Camp” to prepare me for a whole lot to come.  I can take a whole lot more stress now than I could back then.  I am not as fazed at shattered windows, fender benders, and escaped pet snakes. Maybe God knew I needed to be pushed.  Maybe He knew what would get through to me.  I really don’t know, but I can definitely say I got the message.